Second Division A - Day 8

Third placed Ciudad Murcia were beaten 2-1 by Real Madrid Castilla on Saturday evening, a result which takes the home side out of the relegation spots. Torrecilla headed the visitors into the lead from Xavi Jiménez's cross on the half hour mark, and Jiménez missed a chance to make it two after the restart. Michel brought on under 19 internationals Mata and Bueno for the last half hour, and they helped to turn the scoreline around with two late goals, the first a Javi García header six minutes from the end and the second a strike from Negredo after Mata set him up.

Málaga were unable to take full advantage though after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Poli Ejido. Visiting coach Antonio Tapia returned to the Rosaleda stadium to see his side go ahead with a Toedtli penalty after Romero handled in the area twenty minutes from the end. Earlier in the game his keeper Kike had been the star of the match, saving efforts from César Navas, Salva, Hidalgo and Ernesto, although Usero went close at the other end. César Navas saved a point though with a late headed goal from Calleja's free kick, and Ernesto could have won it had a defender not blocked his last minute strike.

The Canary Islands derby ended in a 1-0 win for Vecindario against Las Palmas, the three points taking the home side off the bottom of the table pending Elche's game on Sunday. This was the first match ever in the top two divisions to be played on an artificial pitch after the Federation gave the OK earlier in the week, and David Dorta got the first goal in the twentieth minute after picking up an assist from Villanueva. The visitors were left with ten men a quarter of an hour later after Marcos Márquez was sent off for a supposed foul on Alvarez, and there the game ended.

Las Palmas drop back in to the relegation zone, just below Hércules who picked up a point in a 0-0 draw at Castellón. Yosu Uribe was in charge of the Alicante based side for the first time after Bordelás was fired during the week, and his team had the better of the opening minutes, with Tote Kike Mateo and Piti all bringing good saves out of Oliva. Mateo was sent off a quarter of an hour from the end though with a straight red, and Natalio wasted a good chance soon afterwards to win it for the home side. (14.10.06)

The Sunday lunchtime match featured promotion candidates Cádiz and Alavés, who cancelled each other out in a 1-1 draw. The home side took the lead in the twentieth minute when Coromina put through his own net, and De Paula brought a good save out of Bonano soon afterwards. Mateo headed against the bar at the other end soon after the restart, but Nano tested the visiting keeper again a few minutes later. Armando had to keep out Ogbeche though later on, and Astudillo saved a point for his side with a goal near the end after Pablo Casar set him up, the referee waving away claims from the local players that Aloisi had fouled César in the build up. Cádiz ended with ten men after De Quintana was sent off for a hard tackle in injury time.

Xerez and Real Murcia share top spot in the second division after Sunday evening's results. Leaders Xerez were held to a 1-1 draw by an Elche side who started the day at the bottom of the table, and ended it just one place better off. The Andalusians were awarded a penalty against the run of play late in the first half penalty, but Caballero saved Luque's kick. Gastón Casas converted one at the other end after the restart though after Peragón was fouled, and the Argentine striker had a second goal disallowed for a borderline offside before Jorge Luque equalised with a shot from outside of the area.

Real Murcia put in their claim for a return to the top flight with a 3-0 win over Numancia, who ended the weekend down in 16th spot. The locals were awarded a penalty in only the second minute when Aranda was brought down by Boris, the striker converting the kick himself. Palacios, Bolo and Tarantino all went close at the other end, but just a minute or so in to the second half Jofre intercepted a bad back pass from Felipe to make it two. And Antoñito got the third after Juan Pablo could only block a free kick from Pedro Léon to make it four straight home wins in a row.

Sporting Gijón move up to third, just two points behind the leaders, after thrashing Tenerife 0-4. Manolo Preciado's young side went ahead in the twelfth minute when Gerardo picked up a pass from Barral to beat Bernardo with a low shot. Congo got a second soon afterwards after Gerardo set him up, but the Colombian forward almost put through his own net later in the half when he turned a shot against his own crossbar. Gerardo got his second of the night before the break though after good work by Diego Castro, and Andreu completed the rout in the second half after another pass from Gerardo.

Two goals from Carlos Vela gave Salamanca a 0-2 win at Lorca, taking them up to fourth spot, level on points with Sporting. The Mexican teenager opened the scoring with a shot on the turn with just under a quarter of an hour on the clock, and added the second five minutes from the end after taking advantage of slack defending to lob the ball over Jauregui and run it in to the net. The home side are now just a point outside of the relegation spots, and their fans whistled them off the pitch at the end of the game.

Albacete missed out on a chance to return to the top three after losing 2-1 at Almería. The home side went in front when Acasiete headed home a corner midway through the first half, and Michel added the second before the interval after collecting a cross from Mané. Parri got one back soon after the restart following David Sánchez's short free kick, and Westerveld had to be at his best to keep out another effort from the midfielder near the end.

Points were shared in the match between Ponferradina and Valladolid, where the locals came from behind twice to level the scores in a 2-2 draw. Sisi picked up a pass from Víctor to put Mendilibar's side ahead early on, but Raponi levelled the scores on the stroke of half time from a long free kick. Mario Suárez restored the lead with an angled shot twenty minutes from the end, and soon afterwards Chupri headed home a corner to keep uphis side's unbeaten record in their Toralín stadium. (15.10.06)